Love is Blooming in the Nursing Home!
Spring has sprung and Marty has been here 2.5 weeks. We've made some great strides, I'm so proud of how far he's come! We have settled into a routine which is important because he still can't be free when tiny little Peek is out...he inadvertently just squashes her and it's not safe. She thinks he's neat, though, and is happy to interact when he's on his leash.
The biggest turn around has been with Pixie, my beautiful little Miss Manners. She initially found his lack of etiquette horribly offensive and spent all of her time and (significant) energy giving him dirty looks. Then, about 5 days ago, Pixie fell in love.
I've seen human nursing home romances - I think my Grandmom had about 4 boyfriends while she was a resident. Relationships there usually consist of sitting together at meals and events, stolen pecks on the cheek, and quiet companionship. In all my years of bringing home seniors, I've never had one bloom here! Most seniors kind of co-exist and happily live together but don't really interact.
Of course, when you're watching from afar, you see that Pixie is in it for the romance, the chocolates, and the flowers, and Marty is in it because his giant tumor testicle tells him he should be.
But it's still SO CUTE! At 16.5 yrs old, Marty is a fragile little guy and if you blow on him, he tips over. Pixie is a robust 12 yr old lass and she bounces, and play bows, and barks. He just kind of walks in circles and is happy that he's not getting growled at. So basically, it's a match made in heaven and they're both really happy. And everyone else is happy because it's keeping Marty out of their hair!!
One of the things that makes me happiest is that Marty is bonding with me. When he arrived,he was not really interested in interacting with me, he was much more interested in chasing the other dogs, but I'm now his priority which feels so darn good! He still does his demented little happy dance every time he sees me and he follows me around all the time. In the world of hospice and senior adoption, this is incredibly important and so rewarding! It's one of the best things about this work!
Some other great advances are that his appetite is doing much better. I thought about him and was thinking about horses with neck pain that I treat and one thing that helps them is to not have to eat their hay off of the ground. I now put Marty's food on a folded towel to raise it up a few inches and he seems to really appreciate it! He's eating almost full meals 3-4x day. It also helps if I stand there with him, he focuses better. When the food gets too squashed down (it's a mush), I make it into a little pyramid so he can get to it. ANYTHING to get the calories into him...I bet he plumps up quickly.
He had a bath and now smells much better and I shaved some of the hair on his face after buying better clippers than my horse clippers at the suggestion of my friend June Gonzalez who is a dog groomer and who used to groom all of my fragile guys before I moved. She even made some videos for me to watch so I could help him and not traumatize him! Love friends who are willing to help.
I'm super happy with where he is and where the household is. It would be ideal if he could be out when Peek was out but unless he completely loses interest in her, it's unlikely. But she sleeps a lot and I'm just rotating them when I'm home and it's working! He also now loves his Gated Community (fancy name for my dining room which is penned off for him with a bunch of beds) and is fine when I tell him he needs to go in. I still have a camera on him but I rarely need to check on him...he just sleeps when I'm gone.
The weather is starting to improve in Southeast Pennsylvania so we're also enjoying walks in the sun. He doesn't steer very well on the leash but he loves to wander around!
Catch you next week!!
Liz, Marty, Nigel, Florence, Pixie, Chaz, and Peek